"What is the difference between Child Protective Services and a Rottweiler?"

"It's a lot easier to get your kids back from a Rottweiler!"

--Melanie Miller-Johnston (my late wife), after a hearing in Family Court regarding her daughters (in CPS custody), 2001.

The "Balloon Boy" hoax has show us that, once again, there are folks out there who will do anything for fifteen minutes of fame, be it legal or otherwise. When it merely involves them doing something criminally stupid to gain those minutes? Ridicule, shaming in the blogosphere, possible fine and jail time...the reward for those two bozos acting like two year old kids (and getting attention--not the type they wanted) who threw a class-four temper tantrum in Mickey D's.

However, we have a child all mixed in with this hoo-hah! At first, "Balloon Boy" was somehow "trapped inside" that balloon as it made it's "journey." Then, we find out that "Balloon Boy" was merely sitting on his keester in the attic, and had "lied" about being unwittingly "airborne" on videotape.

And now, this... It turns out that the whole sorry incident was itself a hoax of horrid proportions. Not only does the daddy of "Balloon Boy" face charges from the State of Colorado, but also an FAA investigation and possible Federal charges!

And just guess who else came to the party?

That's Right--that county's Child Protective Services department is now poking it's snout into the affair! So, now not only does "Balloon Boy's" daddy face time either in the Colorado State Pen or in the Federal pokey in Denver--he might also face kissing his boy one last time--until he turns eighteen!

I betcha "Balloon Boy's" daddy is feeling like he's in the ninth level of Dante's Inferno! And well he should--to pull such a hoax is bad enough, but to use your kid...willing or otherwise...as a pawn in this horrid hellride? The only sympathy this twerp is going to find will be in Webster's New World Dictionary, between "sucker" and "syphillis." And that, I feel, is the only sympathy he deserves!

The saying "May You Live in Interesting Times." might be a insult in Goyu (Mandarin) Chinese, but sadly, it's somehow turning true for most of us. For these are, indeed, interesting times...a windfall for curmudgeons needing material for their writings.

For folks like myself, these times are interesting--for they show the lengths that people will go to gain attention for themselves. Instead of fame, however, these nitwits attract legal action and outright infamy.

It is true that one must be careful for what one desires...what they recieve will not be to their liking. "Ballon Boy's" daddy is learning this the hard way...and I hope he learns from this.

Oh, BTW: The quote at the top of the entry was an actual quote, from my late wife. She was trying to get her daughters back from CPS custody, and was rather frustrated from having the hearing "continued." Hence the comparasion between CPS and Rottweilers (her sense of humor was weirder than mine!).

So, please try to remember this before you open fire!



CuddleFish Oct. 20, 2009 @ 9:01 p.m.

I'm not sure things are exactly as the media and the Sheriff in that county has interpreted events. Children are fanciful; sometimes they hear things and interpret them in a way that wasn't said or meant. I don't get what the rush to judgment is on the Sheriff's part, unless he's looking for publicity out of this as well. I heard him bragging on television yesterday that they had a high rate of solving crimes in his jurisdiction.

No question the father likes media. He certainly isn't the only one. But if it turns out, even that he did this as a hoax, it may have been a hoax gone bad, certainly not the outcome he expected at any rate.

Can I just say this: The media, the justice system, and CPS can twist any family into looking like monsters. Not every family is the Cleavers (and even they weren't perfect). Every family has made mistakes in child-rearing. And some families choose to do things differently. I hate to see parents vilified to satisfy the bloodthirsty, self-righteous mob who on the other hand eat up the reality shows these parents were interested in pursuing.

Somebody somewhere needs to cut some slack, and cut these reality shows off their pedestal.


SDaniels Oct. 20, 2009 @ 9:13 p.m.

"I betcha "Balloon Boy's" daddy is feeling like he's in the ninth level of Dante's Inferno! And well he should--to pull such a hoax is bad enough, but to use your kid...willing or otherwise...as a pawn in this horrid hellride? The only sympathy this twerp is going to find will be in Webster's New World Dictionary, between "sucker" and "syphillis.""

I am growing quite fond of your hyperbole, Robbie :)

You know, somewhere else I commented that I was glad that CPS was (allegedly) going to check out the fitness of these parents. But your wife's point about the tenacity of the "system," once a child is in its clutches, is a very good point. Whatever is best for the children--truly best for them--should happen. If this means hanging out with some huckster parents for another five or ten, so be it--as long as they are not abused. I guess things could be worse than a daddy who tries to sucker the media...


antigeekess Oct. 20, 2009 @ 9:42 p.m.

"The only sympathy this twerp is going to find will be in Webster's New World Dictionary, between "sucker" and "syphillis."

Great line. :)

This certainly appears to be a hoax to me. "Dad" looked like the worst actor I've ever seen. And the fact that the poor kid threw up twice during interviews just said that his whole body was rebelling against all the lying.

But taking him away from his twerpy parents? (Who, you'll note, are actually TOGETHER. Bet he's one of the few kids in his class who can say that.) To go where? The foster care system? Sure, that's a great place for him. Bounced around from home to home, most likely to be abused sexually and otherwise?

Is that what happens to this poor innocent kid next? And his brothers, too?

Make room for 3 more, Colorado prison system.


CuddleFish Oct. 20, 2009 @ 9:47 p.m.

Exactly, AG. I hardly think parents who want to be rich and famous by being idiots for the masses is good reason to take their kids away (unless there really is abuse going on); if that were true, virtually everyone in Hollywood would have CPS on their doorstep.


divotdawg Oct. 21, 2009 @ 5:13 p.m.

How can you tell if a social worker is lying? Their lips are moving.

What's a shame? A bus load full of social workers going over a cliff. What's a crying shame? Some of the seats are empty.

What do you call a social worker up to their neck in sand? Not enough sand.

What do you call a 1,000 social workers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!

You have a good sense of humor so I thought I'd share some of my favorite CPS worker jokes. I totally agree with your wife. CPS is one out of control, corrupt agency.

I agree these parents are complete idiots and some people are willing to do anything for money, fortune or fame. However, I think losing their child(ren) permanently is cruel and unusual punishment in this case. The child was never in any real danger, thank God. He's going to go to prison and possibly federal prison at that. When he gets out, he's served his time and he's even with the State and federal government. He should not continue to be punished by losing his children.

So go ahead and attack me people if you disagree with me on this but if you do, I guarantee you that you've never had any dealings with CPS or know anyone that has. So don't go judging until you've walked a mile in some poor biological family's shoes.


Robert Johnston Oct. 21, 2009 @ 6:48 p.m.

Evening, folks. Thanks For The Comments--glad most of you liked the entry.

I do have an announcement: "Vista Blues" will be taking a week off. I plan on using that week to get cracking and type up the manuscript for the book form of this blog. I have lots of material, and need time to get the "first draft" typed up, then transferred to Word 2003 format (I'm currently using Works For Windows 9, btw).

So, assuming the NK's don't flip a Nodong Nuke at San Diego, I will be back in the blogging saddle next Thursday afternoon at @ 13:30 hours!

Love You All! RKJ (Robbiebear, NPR)


SDaniels Oct. 21, 2009 @ 7:05 p.m.

""Vista Blues" will be taking a week off."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Robbie, you're like crack! You can't do this to us.

Ok, then. Have a good week :)


CuddleFish Oct. 21, 2009 @ 7:57 p.m.

I actually need the rest!!!



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